Anise-scented tarragon crema and candied pistachios make this quinoa salad truly extraordinary. Marinating carrot ribbons and fennel in lemon juice transforms them into entirely new ingredients—you’ll be shocked by how greatly their flavor changes. Red quinoa’s vibrant color makes a gorgeous addition to this show-stopping dish.
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Red Wine Vinegar
Cook the quinoa: bring 1 1⁄2 cups water, the red quinoa, and a large pinch of salt to a boil in a small pot. Once boiling, cover and reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes, until tender.
Chop the tarragon leaves and discard the stems. Halve and juice the lemon. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the carrots, then shave into ribbons, rotating as necessary. Trim, quarter, and core the fennel bulb, then slice as thinly as possible.
Make the shaved vegetable salad: place both the fennel and carrots in a medium bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and the lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.
Candy the pistachios: heat a small non-stick pan over medium heat. Add the pistachios and cook, tossing, for 2-3 minutes, until toasted and fragrant. Add 1 tablespoon water and 1 tablespoon sugar to the pan, swirling continuously, until pistachios are coated with a syrupy glaze. Remove from pan and season with salt. HINT: Watch the pan carefully! Sugar can burn quickly.
Make the tarragon crema: in a small bowl, combine the sour cream, 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, and tarragon. Season with salt and pepper.
Plate the quinoa and top with the carrots and fennel. Dollop with the tarragon crema and sprinkle with candied pistachios. Enjoy!